A historic inauguration

Hailey Weiner

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Confirmed on April 7, 2022 as the United States’ first Black, female judge, Ketanji Jackson took another step forward for women and African Americans everywhere. President Joe Biden nominated Jackson on Feb. 25, and it was a long journey of hardships and adversity before she was able to officially fill the position and make history.  

“I was very glad and relieved when I saw that Ketanji Jackson won her place on the US Supreme Court. This government role has been around for over 200 years and only now is there a black woman in the court (…) that should have changed hundreds of years ago. I think it is important to have diversity in the US Supreme Court because people want to be represented by someone who looks like them in the government,” Avery Hamlin, sophomore, said.  

A graduate from Harvard Law School, a former corporate lawyer, a U.S. Sentencing Commision member, and a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit member, Jackson has a lengthy resume to qualify her for the position. Jackson is the only justice to have served as a public defender, setting her apart from her fellow members. While some Republicans have attacked her for being too lenient on criminals, her views have been fact checked to ensure she is aligned with others on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  

“Ketanji Jackson is the most qualified judge that has been new in office recently,” Ellie Bussey, senior, said. 

Americans are celebrating the historic moment of Jackson’s confirmation, as the country’s highest court is diversifying after many long years of only White or male members. President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have both expressed their joy for carrying out the country’s established promise of equality. Representation matters, and Jackson stands for all types of people, showing how anyone who works hard enough can find success.  

“I am feeling a deep sense of pride in who we are as a nation, that we just did what we did as it relates to the highest court of our land,” Harris told reporters. 

While Jackson’s confirmation is a huge step towards a more equal America, the fight is not over.  The majority of top political figures in the country are still White and male, and those who try to change this are often met with protest and outrage. Jackson, for example, struggled through racist and sexist remarks, false claims, and demeaning treatment before being able to stand where she does now. 

“I think it is important for a fair judiciary and [more diversity] can help with better decisions too,” Nico Churuguaco, junior, said. 

President Biden made his promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court, and Jackson fulfilled that vow. To read more about Jackson’s confirmation process, click here.